Post-Completion OPT provides for up to one year of practical training authorization after completion of studies. Students can apply up to 90 days before and up to 60 days after program completion.
Students are recommended to apply before completing their last semester of enrollment to avoid losing days of employment availability unless there is a chance that an additional semester will be required to complete degree requirements.
- Full-time enrolled at least one full academic year (two long semesters).
- Currently in valid F-1 status.
- Eligible for graduation.
- Carefully review the information in the OPT Guide or attend an OPT Workshop.
- Pay the $100 Practical Training Fee*.
- Submit to the International Student Services Office (ISSO):
- Within three business days you will be sent an email that the OPT I-20 is ready for pickup. You will be given mailing instructions when you pick up the I-20.
- Compile the application, make a copy for your personal file and mail the application to USCIS.
USCIS must receive your application within 30 days of the date the OPT I-20 was issued and within 60 days after your program completion date.
- USCIS will provide a receipt a few weeks after your submission. Check it for errors!
- If approved, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will be sent within 90 days to the address listed on the I-765.
- You can begin work once you receive the EAD and reach the start date listed on it.
*Due to the additional Practical Training requirements instituted by Homeland Security on April 8, 2008, UT Dallas students are required to pay a $100 Practical Training fee. This fee is separate from the USCIS application fee.
- G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (Optional) Form provided by ISSO
- Two passport photos
- Check for $380, made payable to Department of Homeland Security (Print I-94 number at top. Staple your check in the middle of the first page; attach photos at the left hand, top corner.)
- Original I-765 form
- Copy of OPT I-20, pages 1 and 3
- Copy of passport ID page showing picture and expiration date
- Copy of I-94, front and back
- Copy of F-1 visa
- CPT page (provided by ISSO)
Mailing the Application
According to the USCIS website, the application mailing address is determined by the address listed on the I-765.
Mail to the Dallas Lockbox if your I-765 address is to one of these states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, U.S Virgin Islands or West Virginia.
Mail to the Phoenix Lockbox if your I-765 address is to any other U.S. state.
U.S. Post Office – USCIS
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
Courier deliveries – USCIS
U.S Post Office – USCIS
P.O Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036
Courier deliveries – USCIS
Beginning OPT Employment
You may not lawfully begin employment, or pre-employment training, until you receive your EAD and the start date of your OPT has arrived. You may locate your OPT start date on your EAD card.
If you work during a gap between previous work authorization (for example, CPT authorization, or on-campus work authorization) and the start of your OPT authorization, you violate your F-1 status.
Report all changes in name, address and employment to the ISSO throughout all periods of OPT. This is necessary to maintain your F-1 status and retain your permission to work.Refer to additional information on meeting your OPT Reporting requirements.
Direct any questions regarding OPT reporting to ISSOcurrent@utdallas.edu.
NOTE: Changes of address reported on the OPT Employment Report Form affect only the SEVIS immigration system. To update your address in the student information system do so through Galaxy (current students) or the Registrar’s Office (alumni).
Ending OPT Employment
You must end your OPT employment by the end date on your EAD, unless you have properly and timely filed for the 17-Month OPT Extension.
If you are not eligible for the 17-Month OPT Extension, or did not properly file for the extension, you have a 60 day grace period after the completion of your OPT period to:
- Prepare to depart the U.S.
- Obtain a new I-20 for a new program of study at UT Dallas or another college/university
- Or take additional steps to maintain legal status